Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Barnet boxer Darren Barker determined to win world title for family
4:14pm Wednesday 14th August 2013 in Sport
Darren Barker is determined to win the world title this Saturday not only for himself, his fiancé and his daughter, but also for his brother Gary, who died in a car accident six-and-a-half years ago.
Gary seemed destined for great things in boxing after winning a Junior Olympic title and was a senior Olympic gold medal prospect for Beijing in 2008 before the 19-year-old lost his life in a car accident in 2006 at the age of just 19.
Barker found it hard losing his brother, who he considered to be his best friend, and the Barnet fighter’s own boxing career was put on hold as he struggled to cope.
Injuries have also hampered the career of Barker but he is now in the best shape of his career and set to face Daniel Geale for the middleweight IBF title in Atlantic City, USA, on Saturday night.
Barker said: “Not only am I right in my body, I also feel right in my mind.
“I am so motivated to take this title and when I do, it’s for my brother Gary, who was such a talented young boxer.
“He was killed in a car crash back in 2006 and it was the end of my world when it happened, losing my best friend like that.
“It took me a long time to get the motivation to get back into the ring but ever since I did, he’s been in the ring with me and along with my fiancé and little girl; this title is going to be for Gary.”
Barker's career has mirrored that of Geale. The Barnet boxer won gold at light welterweight at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, with the Australian taking the welterweight crown, they both fought at the World Championships in 2003 at the same weight and have since risen to the top of their profession.
“This is what it’s all about. Reaching the pinnacle of your sport should be everyone’s goal and I’m close to it now. I truly believe I’m better than him,” Barker said.
“I'm very confident. I know what he’s all about, I know what I’m all about and I know how to beat him so I can’t wait for August 17.”
Barker has been in Atlantic City twice before when he lost his title fight to Sergio Martinez and earlier this year he was in the corner when his friend Lee Purdy lost a non-title bout to IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander. Barker believes it will be third time lucky in Atlantic City.
He said: “I’ve heard people say in the past that you can learn from defeat but I always thought that was mad – how can anything good come from losing?
“It’s not until you experience something invaluable like a defeat in a world title fight to a world class pound-for-pound star like Sergio Martinez that you appreciate the sentiment and I really have taken that negative – losing in a world title fight – and built on it to go one better. I feel I’ve matured from it and I’m in my prime at 31 now.”
Barker’s fight will be shown on Sky Sports 1 in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Comments are closed on this article.